Health Industry Leaders Issue 02

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GPs can quickly access specialist advice for their patients through Consultant Connect Addressing concerns at primary care levels leads to better patient outcomes and decreased pressure on hospitals Better utilising existing technology within the NHS can achieve great results In order to offer the best care possible, it is important that the vital services offered by the NHS aren’t overwhelmed, and by enabling the provision of comprehensive care in the first instance, unnecessary hospital appointments could be avoided.

How Connecting Consultants Benefits Everyone Each year, over 300 million general practice appointments are delivered, and according to NHS, the service forms the ‘bedrock’ of their care offerings. Getting things right at such a foundational level helps to ensure the smooth running of the entire service, and providing patients with appropriate care at this level has a knock-on effect when it comes to delivering hospital services. 8

The challenge facing GPs, therefore, is to address patients’ concerns at a primary care level to the fullest extent possible before referring them for secondary care, and in instances where this is necessary, referring them appropriately. Co-founder and CEO of Consultant Connect, the UK’s largest telemedicine provider, Jonathan Patrick, said: “GPs by their nature don’t know absolutely everything, and yet they have to decide what to do with you, a patient, if something falls out of their area of expertise. “If they’re worried about you, they will naturally want to send you to hospital. The problem is, as we already know, that even a few years ago, sending somebody to hospital, particularly in some specialties, was committing them to being on a waiting list, an often a very long waiting list. And one thing we know about waiting lists is people tend not to get better, they tend to get worse.” To serve the best interests of both patients and the NHS’s services, supporting GPs is essential, and in many cases, technology is already assisting in this ongoing endeavour.

BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY CARE Streamlining communication between NHS services can have a drastic impact on how patients receive the care they need, and it is this that forms the basis of Consultant Connect.

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